When points are on the line, call on Alan Gordon.
That is the reputation the second-year Quakes forward has embraced over his short time on the field for San Jose.
Let’s go inside the numbers:
-Gordon has three goals in 2012 and four goals for his Quakes career over just seven games.
-Gordon’s goals have come in just 246 minutes of action, a per-game average of 1.46.
-All four of his goals for San Jose have come inside Buck Shaw Stadium.
-Three have come from headers, with only the latest on Saturday night via right-footed shot.
-All four of Gordon’s scores have come in a reserve role in the final 23 minutes of matches, all after entering as a second-half substitute.
-All four goals have served as either game-winning (one) or game-tying (three) scores.
-Equalizers in back-to-back 1-1 draws over the final three minutes.
-Gordon’s goals have resulted in six points for head coach Frank Yallop and the Quakes.
A breakdown of Gordon’s goals for San Jose:
1) Aug. 8, 2011 vs. Portland – Gordon comes on at the 56-minute mark for Scott Sealy and scores on a header from a Steven Beitashour cross in the 67th minute to draw the Quakes level at 1-1. Final score: 1-1.
2) April 7, 2012 vs. Vancouver – Gordon comes on at the 52-minute mark for Simon Dawkins and scores on a header from a Ramiro Corrales cross in the 72nd minute to give the Quakes a 2-1 edge. Final score: 3-1.
3) May 13, 2012 vs. Chivas USA – Gordon comes on at the 57-minute mark for Tressor Moreno and scores on a header from a Sam Garza cross in the 88th minute to draw the Quakes level at 1-1. Final score: 1-1.
4) May 19, 2012 vs. Columbus – Gordon comes on at the 60-minute mark for Steven Lenhart and scores with a right-footed side-volley after a Chris Wondolowski lay-off in the 90th minute to draw the Quakes level at 1-1. Final score: 1-1.
Anatomy of an Equalizer
Taking a closer look at his latest act of heroism, Saturday night’s dramatic 90th-minute strike against the Columbus Crew, the play was started by captain Ramiro Corrales and finished with a rare trifecta of skill shown off by Gordon, with some Wondo magic sprinkled in.
As the 90 minutes were just expiring, Corrales lofted a left-footed ball from 10 yards inside his own half, toward the top of the opposing penalty area. Gordon rose up over Crew center back Josh Williams and headed the ball down to the left diagonal for Chris Wondolowski. Wondolowski took a deft left-footed trapping touch and produced an immediate right-footed lay-off back to Gordon. Gordon hammered a first-time shot with the inside of his left foot that slammed off the crossbar. He was then quickest to react to the rebound off one bounce, in and around four Crew defenders and goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, and propelled himself into the air for an acrobatic right-footed side-volley that found the lower right corner.
The goal was nominated Monday for AT&T Goal of the Week, Gordon’s second nomination of the season after his Vancouver winner. Fans can vote until 11:59 p.m. PT Thursday by clicking HERE. Watch the goal by clicking HERE.
At a time when Gordon has been making such a huge impact for the Quakes, he’s needed now more than ever, in the absence of Golden Boot leader Wondolowski due to international duty for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team as it heads toward CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Wondoloswki will miss one game for sure on Wednesday night, and likely both dates this week, with a nationally-televised tilt at Sporting Kansas City looming on Sunday afternoon (1:30 p.m. PT / NBC Sports Network).
And what team is next on the schedule?
The LA Galaxy, with whom Gordon began his MLS career in 2004 and scored 16 times over 99 appearances until his cross-stadium departure to Chivas USA during the 2010 season. The Orange County native has scored three goals in two previous meetings with his first club, tallying once with Chivas USA in 2010 and adding a two-goal brace for Toronto FC prior to his trade to San Jose in 2011.
All three goals, incidentally, came at The Home Depot Center, site of Wednesday night’s first California Clasico of the season (7:30 p.m. PT / Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV, 1370 KZSF).